Geno Smith
Bills release Enemkpali, LB who punched Geno Smith
Geno Smith

Bills release Enemkpali, LB who punched Geno Smith

Published Sep. 4, 2015 12:15 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin will miss the start of the season because of an ankle injury.

And the Bills have released Ikemefuna Enemkpali three weeks after acquiring the linebacker who broke the jaw of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith. The news was first reported by FS1 NFL Insider Mike Garafolo.

The moves were announced on Friday, as the Bills cut 16 players from their roster and placed McKelvin on the reserve/non-football injury list. The designation means McKelvin will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

McKelvin opened training camp on the active/non-football injury list after having a follow-up procedure to repair his right ankle, which he broke in a game in November. McKelvin had a protective boot removed and cleared for light workouts on Tuesday.


The Bills claimed Enemkpali off waivers on Aug. 13, a day after he was cut by the Jets for punching Smith during a locker room altercation. Bills coach Rex Ryan lobbied to add Enemkpali after coaching the player during his rookie year with the Jets last season.

Enemkpali appeared in three preseason games with Buffalo. His playing status was already uncertain because the NFL could still discipline Enemkpali for punching Smith.

Among the other notable players cut was fourth-string quarterback Matt Simms, and veteran offseason free-agent additions defensive tackle Andre Fluellen and fullback John Conner. Simms' release was not regarded as a surprise, and leaves Buffalo with three quarterbacks: starter Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel and veteran journeyman Matt Cassel.

Linebacker Quentin Groves was also cut, a month after the sixth-year player was signed after backup Ty Powell sustained a season-ending knee injury.

The Bills have until Saturday to free up three more roster spots to establish their 53-player season-opening lineup. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus won't immediately count against the roster because he will miss the season-opener against Indianapolis to serve a one-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Buffalo freed up another spot by placing receiver Deonte Thompson on the waived/injured list.

Dan Carpenter is still on the team though Ryan has expressed concern after the veteran kicker struggled with his accuracy this preseason. He missed three of six field-goal attempts as well as an extra-point try from the newly-instituted distance of 33 yards. The latest miss came in a 17-10 loss at Detroit on Thursday, when his 40-yard attempt hit off the right upright.

Carpenter also hit a 46-yard attempt off the right upright in an 11-10 win at Cleveland two weeks ago, and had a 53-yarder sail wide left in a 43-19 win over Pittsburgh last weekend.

It didn't help that Carpenter missed most of the offseason, including the first two weeks of training camp, nursing a sore hamstring.

Last season, Carpenter set a franchise record by hitting 34 field goals. He missed just four attempts, three from 47 yards or longer. In two seasons with Buffalo, he's hit a combined 65 of 72 attempts.

The Bills also cut offensive lineman Cyril Richardson, a fifth-round pick in last year's draft, and receiver Dezmin Lewis, a rookie seventh-round pick.

Rounding out the cuts were receivers Andre Davis and Tobais Palmer, running backs Bronson Hill and Cierre Wood, offensive linemen Will Campbell, Darryl Johnson and Alex Kupper, defensive end BJ Larsen and cornerback Merrill Noel.


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